Daniel_Steinberg_by_Marie_Staggat_51swDaniel Steinberg
Arms & Legs

Treptow plays with a strange mix of fevered excitement, confusion, and reassuring familiarity while ripping up the rule book in the process. So much so that I’ve listened to it three times in a row now and each time is more exhilarating then the last. Why? Well because Let Me Down begins with a brooding sense of expectation which continues to pervade the album and it’s that very mood that lends Treptow its sheer strength of feeling. Put it this way, this is the kind of long player that you can’t switch off from; you need to hear what’s going to happen next! Having said all that of course, when you get to the exquisitely uplifting Can’t find My Baby and then Joy And Happiness the exception to the rule quickly flies out the window. You will want to hit the replay button. What then follows is a vibrant exercise in creative production ideas that flow seamlessly through the uber funk of Only You Can Make Me High and on into I Can Be Your Trip. It’s an extremely rewarding listen throughout spanning fourteen tracks, with zero filler, while containing plenty of surprises along the way colouring the album with a sizzling energy. The imaginative track list plays with a succession of original thoughts but also reworks bundles of unexpected samples as on the slammin’ soul of Tomorrow and All Around. Which by the time you reach the finishing climax leaves you with the distinct feeling that you’ve just participated in something spectacular. Can’t wait to hear if someone comes up with better in 2013: Album of the year?



patPatrick Dawes
Raising Stones
Tummy Touch Records

You’ve got to admire the lovely audacity of Tummy Touch for releasing an album full of music that pushes at the boundaries of sound and rhythm. Raising Stone is a unique listen that doesn’t play easily with melody or indeed with drums. Patrick Dawes spent almost ten years as percussionist with Groove Armada and has taken twelve years to release this since his debut, so you can draw whatever conclusions you like from that. The album sits somewhere between beautiful psychedelic folk, manic afro beats and caustic free jazz. You’ll love it. It opens with the title track featuring Maggie Nicols from the late sixties avant-garde to abruptly set the scene. And among the highlights are the beautiful Floyd/ Roy Harper inspired Trees and the quite frankly out there Fly. If you ever consider yourself thinking out of the box..?

release: March 25


The Title Sequence

The third of three almost equally excellent albums this week flips the coin into somewhere else from the two above. From the double tracked vocals of Syd Barret-esque Sound which typifies the wistful, melancholy leanings of the album David Bailey and Nick Crofts delightful long player is just waiting for the perfect moment to be played. There’s something pleasantly breezy about the melodies and guitar strums supplied and in many ways this is easy listening personified i.e. it’s easy to listen too. From the blatant Pop of You belong To me to the more introspective, and interesting, Jigsaw Days Stills does very little wrong.

The Title Sequence – STILLS (Album Promo) from TTS VISION on Vimeo.



Tummy Touch Records

Gramme’s long overdue but most welcome debut album sounds more than exciting in 2013 than it could have done at any time in the past. Because just like everything else takes its cues from historical influences which in this case range from the genius of ESG to Liquid Liquid etc – i.e. Gramme live in inspired company! But moving beyond easy comparisons, and from their initial EP released way back in 1999, this collection of spiky Punk-Funk and interesting soundscapes is also an edgy blend of razor sharp vocals and hot danceable grooves. Try the heavy percussion of Rough News or indeed the punchy Acid of Laugh Out Loud for potential starters. However the Factory referencing rhythms exist far outside of Manchester’s winter grey and are broadcast via the colourful imagination of Tim “Love” Lee’s NYC record label Tummy Touch. Check the videos for the very excellent ‘Girls Talk’ & ‘Too High’ below and get animated.

release: February 18



BPMs Vol.1

Initially only released in 2011 through his website GFI Music this collection of smoky grooves now gets a full vinyl outing. Nail aka Neil “Nail” Tolliday is perhaps best known as one half of Bent, however this evocative blend of all and sundry feels just as delightfully imaginative as much as it does tough and raw-edged. Kicking off is the superb Bad Drainage with its stunning chords and liquid bassline proving that this is music to get lost in and/ or move too if you so desire. Never falling easily into any one category, which is certainly part of the enviable charm, this hints at funk on the closing Blueberry Pill while journeying through the gritty Dub of Fucked Off along the way. Beats Per Minute….

release: February 11


SDR025Junior Gee
Don’t Do That EP
Something Different Records

Keeping up the pressure from Something Different is Junior Gee’s latest title. Put simply Don’t Do That is devastating heavy-duty House music that again sees the label move in a more exciting direction. Powered by a hypnotic drum loop and insistent hi-hats this comprises of a peculiar amalgamation of sounds that sit somewhere between clocks and piano, but which result in this notably original production. Stop and Spin delivers yet more of those pounding grooves, leaving the more topical This Society to play out with jazzy snares, dark messages and strange notation. Excellent.

release: March 11


GD30E.pdfTom Budden & Forrest
Lady Is Trouble EP

It’s always refreshing to hear melody adding colour to music and with the first release of the new year from Audiojack’s Gruuv imprint that’s exactly what happens. Emotive, breathy vocals adorn the original version of this in style as bass punctuated rhythms succeed in giving it all a frisky edge. Remixes come from Chris James aka Coat Of Arms who treats the voice to a sizzling variety of pulsating electro beats and deep keys. Plus from X-Press 2 whose version applies tribal flavour to the drums backed up by weird and wonderful synths creating a defining edge. Next, is Tom Budden’s own production Falling which sees chiming basslines offset by funky handclaps that you just know are going to sound absolutely huge on the right sound system. OOFT! supply the remix with classic Chicago/ Detroit influences sounding every bit as big as that suggests.

release: March 4


Tony Barbato

Italian producer / DJ Tony Barbato sets the clock back to 1961 to relay his message about war and cash, which is no doubt a timely one from then to now. Although, perhaps the breezy combination of melody and music, albeit with a taught funky backing, lend themselves better to sunshine listening rather than such serious subject matter. Jazzanova/ Sonar Kollekitv stalwart Alex Barck then rearranges the sentiments to give the vocal more depth of feeling while adding a contemporary twist to the production via tense percussion and moody synths . Last but certainly not least is Patrick Podage’s excellent remix with its deliciously in-vogue bassline coupled with undulating electronics that award the edgy selection of treated words a heavy impact.

release: March 12



Tim “Love” Lee interview


How and when did Tummy Touch/ Tummy Touch Music Group come about?

Tummy Touch started out as a club night in Nottingham in about 1993 when I got fired from my regular “Acid Jazz” gig at The Box. The label came about quite by accident in 1996 after I’d moved to London. I had another label at the time, Peace Feast that was kind of dubbed out and trippy down tempo stuff. My buddy Tony Global had made a track for the label but it ended up being a totally uptempo filtered disco thing, which was kind of a new sound back then, so I had to start a brand new label for it. Since then we’ve expanded to be involved in Music Publishing, Artist & Catalogue Management and all sorts of other music related activities, hence the Tummy Touch Music Group – it pretty much covers everything I do during my waking hours.

Tell us about the new album ‘Fully Bearded’ and the idea behind it – any particular favourite tracks?

I’ve always been inspired by the way dub producers created new music by taking stuff away from a track, rather than adding to it or changing it entirely, and the totally unrestrained use of technology to really mess with the sounds. That’s always been part of my sound, both as a producer and a DJ, and I wanted to make it pretty clear to the outside world and the compilation seemed like the best vehicle for that. My favourite track on the album is “Dub One” from Bud Bongo as it’s one my first dubs and I still remember how much fun I was having, flying the mixing board like it was a 747 coming in to land.
What are your thoughts on the Vinyl vs. Digital debate?

I actually love to use the Pioneer CDJs, you can do so much fun stuff with them and they do sound pretty decent. Nothing beats the sound of a well pressed 12″ but nothing can ruin a good set quite like a badly pressed LP that’s feeding back and jumping all over the place. Not a fan of using a laptop though, that’s just not sexy – ask the ladies!
How do you approach production, do you have a favourite piece of studio equipment/ instrument?

I have a few starting points for my productions, depending on what I’m doing. My favourite approach is just plugging in the synths (especially the Macbeth Studio Systems M5) and fucking around for a couple of hours, that’ll usually take me somewhere pretty interesting!
The label is sponsoring the Music & Sound Awards. Tell us about it?

I’m hoping it means lots of free booze, but also a chance to get together with the advertising folk who are so important to nurturing new talent and getting new music heard these days.



New video for the Phenomenal Handclap Band’s first single on Tummy Touch…







Tim “love” Lee
‘Fully Bearded: 15 Years of Tummy Touch in Dub’
Tummy Touch Records

f**king lovely. I couldn’t care less whether this is post something, past something else, or indeed pre anything before it. This music makes you feel it’s fun to be alive and if you’re into growling bass guitars and heavy fx then look no further, you have found nirvana. Of course this much more than mere noise – people are singing too – as dub versions of all and sundry from the previous fifteen years of Tummy Touch gets remodeled and reinvented. Artists include Tom Vek, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Groove Armada and the excellent Circuits, Dubbing At Dawn amongst many significant others. This is joy from start to end. Tune in.    9.5


In My Room

Released on Trentmoller’s own label this selection of self-penned, remixes and remixed by others represents the cross section of the artists’ inspired journeys through sound. A trip that is at times danceable and at others plainly provocative. Try his take on UNCLE ‘The Answer’ whose haunting piano and edgy electronic treatments are hard to surpass, or Weatherall’s off-kilter version of Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!! for a taste of what’s in store. The range expands the possibilities between Franz Ferdinand to Depeche Mode who all get made over in one way or another. There are certainly plenty of stunning moments to behold over this two disc set and it would be easier to say what doesn’t stand out as opposed to what does. The effortlessly sublime instrumental version of Tide being a case in point. 9


Gregory Porter
‘1960 What?’ (The remixes)
Motema Music

Nothing like a touch of jazz to blow the blues away and right from the second that double bass plays you know you’re in stylish company – even the title is a question of cool. This song is actually saying something to fire up your imagination as the horns blare and ride cymbals punctuate the rhythm, 1960 What? fits into any time frame as styled by Wicked Jazz Sounds’ Phil Horneman. The album, Water has been Grammy nominated in 2011 and the song now appears with further remixes: Opolopo add a four-four shuffle to the affair; Peas filter it over an infectious click track.  8


Scott Harrack
‘Finding The One’
Love Not Money

Brand new label from Leeds who open with this notable release from Scott Harrack. Peculiar Girl begins with a twangy bass guitar and ends up in an explosion of emotion via neatly placed vocals and shimmering synths. Privileges, feels deceptively moodier with classic techno bass complimented by jazzy percussion and cool trumpet, although as the vocal snippets and chords work themselves together this feels decidedly breezy. She’s Something, continues to pick up the pace with warped organs and a clash of vocals, which you may be able to decipher from the early nineties. Sentimental Thoughts, darkens the mood with an impressively emotive production which again throws up a succession of clever ideas. Wishes, then finishes off by seductively dropping the tempo and replaying a classy boogie sample over easy-paced beats.   8


‘Slow Down EP’
Deep Edition Recordings

Excellent release from Hamburg’s Cram who neatly blends together three uber slices of funkiness for Deep Edition. Opening with Compose You A Tune which reworks a familiar sample in a creative way as this mid-paced groover proves hard not to fall in love with, while the slightly more suspicious sounding Make You Do Wrong sprinkles yet more Disco dust over heavy filtered bass and some classic vocal from the Reverend Green. Leaving the Wonder inspired Bring It Down to fire up Stevie’s electric piano in truly inspired fashion, and is something that will strike an instant chord with you. 9